Like most sites this site uses cookies : By continuing to use our site you are agreeing to our cookie policy.close & accept [x]
Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Legal Obligations - Multiples on the Move
Legal Obligations - Multiples on the Move
Parents should be aware of the legal obligations when traveling with multiples. Here we share the highlights of the requirements for car. air and bus travel as well as share information on the Department of Transports new initiatives to promote safe. alternative ways of getting children in their area to school.
  • Car Travel
  • Air Travel
  • Bus Travel
  • Travel to School
Car Travel
What are your legal obligations? New regulations governing the use of child car seats are due to come into force in September 2006. You can find out more information on the new laws and the appropriate child restraints for age / weight of your children at : http://www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk/campaigns/childcarseats/childcarseats.htm01

Under 3s must use an appropriate restraint if it is available. If the only appropriate restraint is in the front. they must sit there. In rear of vehicle. correct child restraint must be used. If one is not available in a taxi. may travel unrestrained.

  • Children under 3 years MUST use the child restraint (ie child seat or booster) appropriate for their weight in any vehicle (including vans and other goods vehicles).
  • Rear-facing baby seats MUST NOT be used in a seat protected by a frontal air-bag unless the air-bag has been deactivated manually or automatically.
  • Children aged 3 -11 years and under 1.35 metres in height (4"5") MUST wear an appropriate child restraint or seat belt when travelling in the front of a vehicle. In the rear. the correct child restraint must be used where seat belts fitted. Must use adult belt if:
    • - in a taxi. the correct child restraint not available;
    • - on a short and occasional trip. the correct child restraint not available;
    • - two occupied child restraints prevent fitment of a third
  • Child 12 or 13. or over 1.35 metres (approx 4ft 5ins in height) MUST wear the seat belt if fitted both in front and rear of vehicle.

Car Seats should be properly fitted and you may want to get the fitting checked at a local road safety unit. You can find details of your nearest unit by contacting the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) at http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/ or by calling their Road safety dept on 0121 248 2000. ROSPA can also advise on the wearing of seat belts during pregnancy.

Air Travel
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations require that all passengers are secured by means of the seat belt provided whenever the seat belt sign is on.

In the case of infants under the age of 2 years and young children up to the age of 3 years restraint should be achieved in the one of the following ways:
  • Infants under six months of age must be secured on an adult's lap by means of a supplementary loop.
  • Children under 2 years of age must be seated either on an adult"s lap (with the supplementary loop) or properly secured in a car type safety seat provided by the passenger and acceptable to the airline. or an aircraft type safety seat specifically designed for infants provided by the airline.
  • The use of a car type or aircraft type safety seat is permitted for children between 6m and 3 years of age.
The policy on the criteria and use of car type safety seats can differ between airlines. In the . a safety seat must be fitted in the same direction as the passenger seat on which it is positioned. For further information on use of car type safety seats passengers are advised to contact the airline with which they are travelling. For further information contact the CAA at www.caa.co.uk or telephone them on 020 7379 7311.

Bus Travel

Organised Trips
Minibuses. coaches and buses (apart from those designed for urban use with standing passengers) first used on or after 1 October 2001 must have seat belts fitted by the manufacturer. The seat belts must be fitted in all forward and rearward facing seats. and must meet the technical requirements set out in European Directives.

The new requirements apply to minibuses and coaches. whether or not privately owned or used for hire and reward. This legislation applies to a journey wholly or mainly organised to carry a group of three or more children on a trip in a minibus or coach. You can find out more information on these requirements at the Department of Trade website :- http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_roads/documents/page/dft_roads_506857.hcsp

For the purposes of this legislation:
  • a child is a person who is 3 to 15 years of age inclusive;
  • a seat belt is a minimum of a lap belt; and
  • a seat has a minimum width of 400mm.
It is important that the seat belts or child restraints which have been fitted are worn. Children should wear a seat belt not only for their own safety. but the safety of others in the vehicle. Parents should actively encourage their children to wear a seat belt. When supervising a trip. parents. teachers and supervisors. should try and ensure that the restraints are worn. A single seat belt must not be used by more than one child. nor should a belt be placed around a child who is on an adults lap.

In the front seats of minibuses. and seats in coaches which are in line with. or forward of. the driver (but not those on the upper deck). it is the drivers responsibility to ensure that:
  • children under 3 years of age use an appropriate child restraint;
  • children aged 3-11 and under 1.5 metres in height wear an appropriate child restraint if available. or if not available. an adult seat belt;
  • children aged 12 and 13 and younger children 1.5 metres or more in height wear a seat belt if fitted and available to be used.
In the rear seats of most minibuses. i.e. those which have an unladen weight of 2.540 kilograms or less. it is the drivers responsibility to ensure that:
  • children under 3 years of age wear an appropriate child restraint if one is available to be used;
  • children aged 3-11 and under 1.5 metres in height wear an appropriate child restraint if available. or if not available. an adult seat belt if one is available to be used;
  • children aged 12 and 13 and younger children 1.5 metres or more in height wear a seat belt if one is available to be used.
Children aged 14 years and above must wear a seat belt if one is fitted and available to be used. and are responsible for doing so.

In the rear seats of coaches and larger minibuses there is no statutory requirement for children to wear a seat belt or child restraint. but they should always be actively encouraged to wear them. when they are available.

Travel to School
The Department for Transport now encourages Local authorities to promote safe. alternative ways of getting children in their area to school. and in the process reduce dependence on the family car during the school run. Some useful guides have been produced for local transport and education authorities describing what schools. local authorities and bus operators around England have been doing to promote walking. cycling and public transport to reduce car use for journeys to and from school. More information is available at : http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_about/documents/page/dft_about_026788.hcsp where there is also information on general child safety for parents.


< Back

Back to Resources Centre


Search Twins Tips

Back to Resources Centre

Copyright 2008 Twins International Ltd.